Frites Tasty Lunchtime Salad Buffet

_DSC8122

There’s a massive range of lunch options in Causeway Bay, new to that choice this month is Frites all you can eat salad buffet for $98. There’s a choice of 15 different salads, with a little something for everyone’s taste from the traditional coleslaw, Caesar and Greek salads right the way through to a modern Super Protein Salad. There’s beetroot, chick peas and pumpkin, tuna quinoise, grilled sweetcorn and for those who need a bit of starch with their salad there’s roasted potato wedges.

For those looking for something a bit more substantial than just salads there’s a choice of the main dish add-ons: Sole Meuniere with brown butter caper sauce and steamed vegetables (add $58), Chicken Piccata with butter, olive oil, lemon, wine and capers served with steam vegetables (add $78) and a USDA 1855 8oz Steak and Frites (add $98).

_DSC8069

The portion sizes for the main supplements are full meals in themselves and the salads were fresh, tasty and regularly refilled to ensure nothing ran out. A sticky date pudding dessert and coffee or tea are an additional $20 each.

Frites healthy and varied salad buffet is only available in the Causeway Bay outlet, Monday to Friday 12-3pm and if you finish before 12:45pm you qualify for the 20% early bird lunch discount. What’s also nice is that for those who need to know the salad buffet menu lists the allergies and intolerances for each salad.

Frites Causeway Bay: Shop 1, G/F, Park Haven, 38 Haven Street, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2142 5233 www.frites.hk

_DSC8061

Art Basel – 21-22 March, 2017

_DSC7830

There’s a lot to see at this year’s Art Basel, but there’s also a lot to do with conversations, trams and films to fit in as you explore the wide range of art on show.

All art ‘speaks’ to each of us in different ways, you can admire the skill (or not) of an artist but find their work does nothing for you. So rather than suggesting not to miss ‘x’ or ‘y’, bc recommends that you explore and find those works that speak or connect to you in some way. Enjoy them, then wander away for awhile and come back again later. Was the work just flirting with you the first time, or do you still feel the piece’s attraction…?

Click on any photo for the full gallery of images and art.

_DSC7725

_DSC7671

_DSC7756

_DSC7799

Virtual Frontiers, Art and Tilt Brush

Hidden away in the corner of the Collectors Lounge is Virtual Frontiers, Art Basel‘s collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, the results of a group of artists who were invited to create works using the Tilt Brush virtual reality app. And if you wondered why you needed to upgrade your pc and buy a VR headset, Tilt Brush a 3D drawing and painting application is that reason. Released a year ago (sadly only for Windows) it is quite amazing both in the creative sense and in the exploration of other’s creations.

The artists invited to explore and create with Tilt Brush for Art Basel included Cao Fei, Robin Rhode, Sun Xun and Yang Yongliang who attended residencies at Google’s offices in Beijing and Paris to create the series of interactive works on display during the show and in which you can literally climb inside and explore the creations.

Eternal Landscape (2017), Yang Yongliang‘s Tilt Brush work uses the ‘Shan Shui’, traditional style of Chinese ink painting that depicts scenery or natural landscapes and is often considered to be one of ancient China’s most important contributions to the history of art. ‘Eternal Landscape’ recreates a traditional Shan Shui landscape in a virtual immersive realm, while trying to preserve the classical aesthetics.

With Gusheshe (2017), which in South African township slang translates to ‘go faster’ or ‘very fast’, Robin Rhode references the BMW E30, a model that was produced and driven on the streets of the townships of South Africa in the early 1990’s, a politically tumultuous time for the country. Rhode took inspiration from the iconic street culture in South Africa and re-imagined ‘Gusheshe’ animated in a virtual setting.

The Previous Life of the Yimatu Mountain (2017) by Sun Xun is a portrait of Yimatu, the highest mountain in Fuxin in Liaoning Province, the artist’s hometown. It focuses on the way the artist imagines what life around the Yimatu mountain would have been like in the past.

Cao Fei’s mixed reality film, titled Derivation Blurs the Virtual and Physical Worlds (2017), declares a utopian future where walls and societal restrictions are broken and new conversations and new possibilities emerge.

In addition to being able to explore the VR artworks the ‘Conversations‘ part of Art Basel features Cao Fei and Yang Yongliang in conversation with Freya Murray, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture. They will discuss the artists’ approach to making art in virtual reality, the impact virtual tools such as Tilt Brush can have on artistic practice and more broadly on the arts in general. The talk will take place at the fair in the auditorium on level 1, at the entrance of Hall 1A of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday, March 22 at 3.30pm. If you can’t make it, all the talks from the fair can be watch here later www.artbasel.com/hongkong/conversations.

Twenty-Five Minutes Older @ Art Basel

_DSC7701

One of Art Basel‘s off-site exhibits this year is Twenty-Five Minutes Older by local artist Kingsley Ng. Ng’s ‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’ turns two of Hong Kong’s iconic trams into moving camera obscuras, creating an altered reality and allowing passengers to experience Hong Kong in a new way – in reverse.

Moving images of the city, created via a ‘pin-hole camera’ in the side of the blacked out tram, are accompanied by spoken extracts from Liu Yichang’s famous stream-of-consciousness novella Tête-bêche. The live images of passing street life displayed inside the tram blend and flow alongside Liu’s poetic incantations. The familiar re-experienced in a completely new way – it’s quite surreal as the upside down world floats in the darkness as Liu’s words flow from headphones that remove the everyday sounds.

Kingsley_Ng__25_Minutes_Older__Images_Courtesy_of_the_Arts_Develo_HiRes

‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’, was first presented in 2016 as part of ‘Human Vibrations: The 5th LargeScale Public Media Art Exhibition’ that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Arts Development Council in Hong Kong, runs on the different parts of the tram tracks until the 28 March. Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance here.

Aperitivo at Attire House – 14 March, 2017

_DSC7232

One of the joys of living in Hong Kong is that she’s always full of surprises. Take for example 8 Wyndham Street as boring an office block as you can find – but on the top floor (29/F) is the recently opened Attire House, a men’s boutique complete with Barber’s Shop and wet shave, and Bar de Lune a very relaxed Japanese whisky and cocktail bar. Bar de Luxe is a joint venture between the owners of Attire and Tokyo’s famous mixologist Hidetsugu Ueno.

To introduce the brands Cesare Attolini and E Marinella Attire House hosted an aperitivo with cocktails and Tartuflanghe truffle chips.
Click on any photo for the full gallery of images.

_DSC7269

_DSC7271

_DSC7245

_DSC7226

Treating Your Tastebuds

The Taste of Hong Kong festival returns for it’s second year to the Central Harbourfront. This year there are 16 restaurants participating and all will offer four taster portion sized plates: three standard items at prices $50-$200 and one iconic dish that could cost up to $420.

Payment this year is only by credit card, if you don’t have a credit card then you can buy a prepaid ($200, $300, $800) one at the festival or from any bank. The remaining balance can used after the festival at other shops around town.

So the big question is how to enjoy and get the most from Taste and sample all the dishes you want to… There are two main approaches to Taste, the casual wander where you sample and join the queues that take your interest. But really this relaxed approach while enjoyable does not bring the best out of the festival.

To get the most from Taste, you need a little advance planning and it’s best to go with three or more friends. Firstly download and peruse the menu, chose which dishes you want to try and then ‘rank’ them in a rough order. This gives you the restaurants you want to visit, and with around 3,000 people per session, you’ll be queuing, which realistically limits one person to 4-6 restaurants.

But this is where your friends come in. Choose a meeting/eating point and then each of you joins a different restaurant queue and buys 4 (or more depending on your friends orders/preferences) of each dish. Meet-up, eat-up, enjoy and repeat… Remember to bring a tray, or something similar, with you to help you carry all the dishes!

To whet your tastebuds here’s a list of some of the dishes that are available:

Amber: Fukuoka line caught Spanish mackerel cured & torched, Miyazaki Hyuganatsu.
Arcane: Rangers Valley wagyu short rib served with green beans, confit garlic and pepper sauce.
Café Gray Deluxe: Brittany Diver scallop, XO emulsion and Amalfi lemon.
Chino: Uni/ truffle/ spicy lobster tostada.
Duddell’s: Pan fried M9 Australian wagyu wasabi soy sauce.
Kaum: Ikan Belut – Sambal Hijau, pan-fried eel fillet served with char-grilled chilli, shallots, tomatoes and coconut oil relish.
Mercato: Black truffle lobster carbonara
Okra: Sea urchin a la mode – Murasaki uni with smoked jelly and sea water.
Rhoda: slow cooked Hawke’s Bay lamb shoulder, spiced cauliflower and cumin.
Tin Lung Heen: Barbecued Iberian pork with honey.
Tosca: Prime beef in pizzaiola sauce.
Yardbird: Yuzu chilli hot wings with fermented yuzu chilli sauce.
Zuma: Grilled Hakkinton pork skewer with miso and pickled daikon.

As well as these tasty dishes there’s several food shops, importers and a market offering a wide range of products to take home and enjoy. There are also food demonstrations and talks.

A little planning will treat you and your palate to a fine, if teasing, meal.

Taste of Hong Kong
Date: 16-19 March, 2017
Venue: Central Harbourfront
Tickets: $678, $198, $168 from Ticketflap

Edited: The menu card only list 15 restaurants, there are 16 participating. We have updated the article to reflect that.

Goût de France 2017

Goût de France / Good France returns on the 21 March to tease and tantalise tastebuds globally. Orchestrated by chef Alain Ducasse and the French government with the intent to showcase the French way of life, regional produce, and France as a tourist destination. Goût de France is inspired by Auguste Escoffier, who launched a Dîners d’Épicure (Epicurean Dinners) initiative in 1912: the same menu, on the same day, in several world cities, for as many guests as possible.

This year over 2,000 chefs on 5 continents are creating a special menu to celebrate French gastronomy and joie de vivre. Locally 15 restaurants are participating at a wide range of price points, with some menu offerings only available on the 21 March, while others are on offer all week.

The Good France menu should include an aperitif with finger food, a starter, one or two main course(s), a cheese platter and a dessert, accompanied by French wines and champagnes. The outlets taking part locally this year are:

Akrame (Wanchai)
AOC Eat & Drink
(Wanchai)
B.A.M le garde manger (Sheung Wan)
Brasserie on the Eighth (Admiralty)
Chez Raymond de Paris (Sai Kung)
Epure (Tsim Sha Tsui)
Fleur de Sel (Causeway Bay)
La Cabane Wine Bistro (Central)
La Table de Patrick (Central)
Le Bistro Winebeast (Wanchai)
Otto Restaurant & Bar (Causeway Bay)
Petrus (Admiralty)
Privé (Ponte 16, Macau)
Rech by Alain Ducasse (Tsim Sha Tsui)
Stan Café (Stanley)

For more details on the individual menus see each restaurants website and for more on Goût de France see www.goodfrance.com

Royal Commonwealth Society, Commonwealth Day Reception @ HK Club – 13 March, 2017

_DSC7110

The Royal Commonwealth Society hosted it’s annual Commonwealth Day reception at the HK Club on the 13 March, 2017. The Queen’s message was read by British Consul General Andrew Heyn, while Sir David Tang toasted the Queen.
Click on any photo for the full gallery of images

_DSC7133

_DSC7159

_DSC7163

_DSC7204